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withstanding the authority of the Wife of Bath (Chaucer, The Wife of Bath's Prologue, l. 558). We have given a preference to the latter appellation, as more strictly in accordance with the general character of these pieces. On the general question of these Mysteries, and the important link which they constitute between the theatrical representations of antient and modern times, and the light which they throw upon the manners and customs and religious opinions of their period, the reader is referred to the publications of Mr. Sharp, Mr. Markland, and Mr. Collier. It is enough for a Society of this nature to lay bare the mine, and leave the skilful to extract its oré. One thing, however, has been deemed essentially requisite, a brief but comprehensive Glossary for the benefit of the general reader. It is only by such publications as this that correct notions can be formed of the progressive state of the English language, and in such cases a good glossary concentrates their very spirit and utility.
The manuscript is of the folio size, written in a bold hand upon strong parchment, and containing initial letters highly ornamented with the pen. Fac-similes of the hand-writing of a portion of the FLAGELLACIO (p. 205), and of an initial letter, are subjoined to these prefatorial remarks and notices.
The lines which rhyme with each other are in general connected by ligatures. The speeches are separated from each other by lines of red ink, which is still fresh and brilliant.
This manuscript was recommended to the notice of the Society, by William Bentham, of Upper Gower
Street, London, Esq., F. S. A., &c., and next to the Continuation of Wills and Inventories it received the greatest number of votes in conformity with the seventh Rule.
The thanks of the Society are especially due to Peregrine Edward Towneley, of Towneley, Esq., the owner of the manuscript, for his courtesy in permitting it to be transcribed for the press. This permission was obtained by the Reverend Dr. Lingard, to whom the Society is under great obligations for this and other manifestations of his anxiety for its welfare.
It may be almost needless to remark, that great care was taken in obtaining a correct copy of the Towneley Manuscript. And yet, notwithstanding caution, there were mistakes in the transcript, and their number was not diminished by the press. The printed sheets, however, have themselves been carefully compared with the original manuscript by Joseph Stevenson, Esq. to whom the institution is under great obligations; and the following Errata have been discovered, which, as extreme accuracy in its transcripts and publications is deemed essentially requisite by the Society, it points out here in limine that the reader may correct them with his pen before he becomes involved in the difficulties of a corrupt reading
P. 4, I. 15, add ? at the end of the line.
5, second indent, for fwles, read fowles. ... 8, 1. 8, add ? at the end of the line. ... 10, 1. 10, from bottom, for neyn, read meyn. 6,
, for alone, read a lone. 5,-- , add comma after me. l. 1, for an eld, read a neld.
27, for we may, read wemay. ... 13, 1. 4, dele the second comma, and for? read ; ... 14, 1. 10, for neveryit, read never yit.
1. 9, for Cayin, read Caym.
l. 2, for shren, read shrew. 22, l. 8, for an, read Man.
sixth indent, for afone, read a fone. 26, 1. 3, dele comma.
1. 8, for threfor, read thre for. ... 27, fourth indent, for On one, read onone.
28, fifth indent, for Sem, read sam. ... 30, 20 from bottom, for thase, read thare. ... 13 --- , for wedmen, read wed men. ... 31, l. 9, after thise, insert (wederes.] ... 32, l. 18, for hufe, read lufe. ... 33, 1. 20, for befon, read be fon. ... 40, 1. 16, add ? after arayde. ... 41, 11 from bottom after And, insert (this.] ... 46, 1. 16, for inquarte, read in quarte. ... 46, 1. 5 from bottom for barne to me, read barneteme. ... 48. l. 5, for alle-to, read alle-to. ... 51, ninth indent for bonden, read bondon. ... 55, after Pharao, insert Lytster play in the margin. ... 58, 7 from bottom, for never, read neven. ... 59, 1. 13, for or seasse, read or I seasse.
61, 4 from bottom for were, read wore. ... 62, l. 1, for yfit, read flyt. ... 65, l. 8, for ferstley, read fersley.
1. 22, for Naw, read now. 66, l. 2, for you, read yow. ... 67, fifth indent, after hastely place a comma.
-, 8 from bottom, for She, read The. 68, 1. 8, for youot, read you not.
1. 18, for best, read bost. ... 69, l. 5 from bottom, for stille, read fulle. ... 71, 1. 18, for welldand, read weldand. ... 76, 3 from bottom, dele the comma after woman. ... 81 l. 2, for eee, read ee.
16 from bottom, insert a comma after askyng.
last line but one, dele comma after blys. ... 82, l. 2 from bottom for sayd, read seyd. ... 83, 1. 5. for hend, read hens. ... 85, 1. 13, for over twhart, read overtwhart.
23, for avd, read and. ... 88, 1. 7 from bottom, after gyf insert you. ... 89, 1. 19, for To, read Thou. ... 90, 1, 16, for kely, read Hely.
P. 90, 1. 22, for halsom read holsom.
20, for you, read ye.
seventh indent, for recolde, read recorde. ... 93, 21, insert; at the end of the line. 95, 16 from bottom, for sych,read lyght, and insert a comma after mone. 13,
after let, insert us. 96, 5,
insert comma after than. 99, 9,
for are, read ure. ... 101, l. 23, for ranye, read ranys. ... 104, 1. 17, for devylle, read dewylle. ... 105, 1. 18 from bottom, for connselle, read counselle. .., 106, 1. 1, Fron should perhaps be read Frou.
1. 20, for jek, read rek.
110, 16, for an, read on.
for season, read seson.
21, for I wys, read' iwis.
last line, for makes ayre, read Mak's ayre.
read Do as I say you. ... 116, · 15, dele comma after levyn.
24, for This, read thre.
5, for be, read he.
in running title, for Prima, read SECUNDA.
9, from bottom, for Ballaam, read Balaam. ... 131, Primus Rex, for Alleredy, read Alle redy.
136, lines 1 and 2, insert comma after way, and ? after weynde.
line 16 from bottom, for Were, read Dere.
236, eighth indent, for todedir, read togedir. ... 266, 23, for norne, read morne,
277, 5 from bottom, for und, read and, ... 283, 16, for wounded, read woundes. .., 299, 10 from bottom, for he, read be. ... 302, 17, for stevyud, read stevynd. ... 309, 25, for sewys, read semys. 1.311, 20, for hic, read his.